Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame
In 2002, John Vukelich was the first coach inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. An inspirational and dedicated Christian leader, Coach Vukelich guided young men to achievement through football, basketball, baseball, and track during the fledgling seasons of Eagle athletics and led the school to its first CIF playoff berths.
Coach Vukelich (center) with Mike Stevens '61 and
Tom Makofske '61, co-captains of the 1960 football team.
From the 1960 Aerie:
"Coach John Vukelich, former star of the University of Dayton football team, arrived and immediately started work on the rather slow sports program at Chaminade in 1956. (We hadn't won a football game in four years.) Coach's specialty was football. He was no less sincere about coaching basketball, baseball, or track. Coach transferred from a mid-western school of about 2,000 to Chaminade. His past coaching record was excellent and he has improved it since he has been at Chaminade.
"Mr. Vukelich, after being offered numerous scholarships at the close of his high school football career, decided to go to the University of Illinois. After his freshman year, he transferred to the University of Dayton and there finished his college education while making a spectacular reputation as a half-back and punter. Indeed, he could have played professional ball if it were not for a back injury.
"Every boy who has played under his guidance will always remember coach as the man who taught him his fundamentals in his sport and, at the same time, taught him his responsibilities toward his education. Coach has always strived to teach the Eagles the importance of their studies and their proper place in relation to athletics. Perhaps some day a graduate of Chaminade will be an all-star athlete and he will owe it mainly to the basic guidance and discipline of Mr. Vukelich.
"Everyone who comes in contact with coach realiezes that this is a man of sincere effort. When the team meets with a bad break they always feel a great loss and, sometimes, despair. Then they remember coach. They think back and look at his record of bad breaks and as a result they play all the harder to try to give coach the championship he most surely deserves.
"Out of deep gratitude the seniors wich to dedicate the sports section of their yearbook to a man who has helped them greatly; a man who will never be forgotten for his guidance, perseverance, and strong character. All we can say is, "Thanks, Coach."